This day in baseball: First catcher’s maskPosted: February 12, 2017
On February 12, 1878, Harvard captain Fredrick Thayer received a patent for the first catcher’s mask. Thayer invented the mask for Harvard’s catcher, James Tyng, who apparently was a bit skittish, in spite of his talent. The mask was adapted from a fencing mask, with eyes holes that supported a series of pads made from animal skins. The catcher’s mask caught on quickly among pros and amateurs alike and was in wide use by the 1880s.